Contact: Kat Snodgrass
Society for Neuroscience
Caption: Because of fMRI scanner time limitations, the researchers edited the movie into three 10-minute segments. The excerpts had the same number of smoking and non-smoking scenes, which lasted for equal amounts of time. The authors found that seeing this familiar action -- even when embedded in a Hollywood movie — evoked the same brain responses as planning to actually make that movement.
Credit: Reprinted with permission: Wagner, et al. The Journal of Neuroscience 2011.
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Related news release: Watching others smoke makes smokers plan to light up